Hannah Illing

My Photo


I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Applied Microeconomics at the University of Bonn. I am also a research associate at the IAB, and a visiting research affiliate at the IZA.

My main field is labor economics, with a focus on immigration and economics of gender.

Download my CV.


Working Papers

The Gender Gap in Earnings Losses after Job Displacement


Existing research has shown that job displacement leads to large and persistent earnings losses for men, but evidence for women is scarce. Using administrative data from Germany, we apply an event study design in combination with propensity score matching and a reweighting technique to directly compare men and women who are displaced from similar jobs and firms. Our results show that after a mass layoff, women’s earnings losses are about 35% higher than men’s, with the gap persisting five years after job displacement. This is partly explained by a higher propensity of women to take up part-time or marginal employment following job loss, but even full-time wage losses are almost 50% (or 5 percentage points) higher for women than for men. We then show that on the household level there is no evidence of an added worker effect, independent of the gender of the job loser. Finally, we document that parenthood magnifies the gender gap sharply: while fathers of young children have smaller earnings losses than men in general, mothers of young children have much larger earnings losses than other women.

Who Suffers the Greatest Loss? Costs of Job Displacement for Migrants and Natives


We are the first to provide empirical evidence on differences in the individual costs of job loss for migrants compared to natives in Germany. Using linked employer-employee data for the period 1996-2017, we compute each displaced worker’s earnings, wage, and employment loss after a mass layoff in comparison to a matched, nondisplaced, control worker. We find that migrants face substantially higher earnings losses than natives due to both higher wage and employment losses. Differences in individual characteristics and differential sorting across industries and occupations can fully explain the gap in wage losses but not the employment gap after displacement. Laid-off migrants are both less likely to become re-employed and work fewer days than laid-off natives. In terms of channels, we show that i) migrants sort into worse establishments and ii) migrants’ slightly lower geographic mobility across federal states may explain part of their lower re-employment success; iii) our results suggest that competition from other migrants, rather than natives, negatively contributes to migrants’ costs of job loss.

Crossing Borders: Labor Market Effects of European Integration


This paper studies labor market effects of out-migration and in-migration in the context of cross-border commuting. It investigates an EU policy reform granting Czech citizens free access to the German labor market from 2011, to quantify the impact of East-West migration on local labor markets in both countries. The majority of Czech workers commutes across the border to Germany and I exploit this spatial variation for a difference-in-differences approach. Using a novel dataset on Czech regions, I show that municipalities in the Czech border region experienced a decline in unemployment rates as result of the worker outflow, while vacancies increased. For German municipalities, I find no effects on regional employment, and lower wage growth in the long term. I then extend the analysis from the regional to the individual level, enabling me to investigate labor market effects on native incumbent workers in Germany. These workers experienced lower wage growth, but increased employment such that their earnings relative to control workers remained constant.

Work in Progress

The Impact of Job Disruptions on Households During the Covid-19 Pandemic

The Gender Wage Gap Revisited: Evidence from Worker Deaths


Institute for Applied Microeconomics (IAME)
University of Bonn
Adenauerallee 24–42
53113 Bonn, Germany